ibnlive » Tennis

Feb 05, 2009 at 03:55am IST

Oz victory, road ahead for Indian tennis

New Delhi: From boys to men Somdev Dev Varman reaching an tour final and Yuki Bhambri pleasantly surprising fans by clinching the junior boys title at the Australian open.

For the last decade and a bit, Indian tennis has been the story of these two men Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes have shouldered the burden admirably. Suddenly, there is hope that the void can be filled when they leave.

"Someone has always come along in tennis and now it’s the young Yuki who is a special talent," says Mahesh Bhupathi.

PROMISING STAR: The euphoria over India's best ever performance at a grand slam was justified.

At 16, Bhambri is undoubtedly the player to look out for his grand slam success will almost certainly attract sponsorship and corporate support.

The grind of the men's circuit has claimed many a talent in the past, and Bhambri will need careful nurturing.

Sania Mirza's triumphant return to the circuit after injury is a massive relief, a return to the top 30 will be a challenge but while Sania will keep the flag flying on the WTA circuit, the lack of talent coming among the girls on India’s junior circuit is a worry.

Tennis has always been a popular sport in India, now the challenge is to take the next step and build on the success of its latest success stories.